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The residency program in Dermatology at the Ohio State University provides advanced clinical training and specialization in the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases of small and large animals under the supervision of 3 board-certified specialists. Faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their respective fields. The residency is a 3-year combined residency and graduate studies program leading to a Certificate of Residency and Master of Science degree.
Training is designed to insure development of clinical competence in dermatology by facilitating development of clinical proficiency, clinical skills, and knowledge of dermatology through exposure to a wide variety of cases at all levels of complexity. This goal is facilitated by location of the Veterinary Medical Center in a large metropolitan area (population over 1.5 million) that provides a rich variety of case material as well as a referral base that includes Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and Michigan. In recent years, a majority of referrals have come from within Ohio. State-of-the-art equipment and facilities are available to develop technical expertise in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
All residents at The Ohio State University have to complete a significant piece of original research that forms the basis of their thesis to meet requirements for obtaining their MS degree. The research thesis has to be completed and defended prior to completion of the 3-year training program. We believe that completion of the MS degree provides significant advantages to the resident in their maturation and development as a dermatologist. Regardless of the residents anticipated career (private practice, academia, research, or industry), the completion of advanced didactic courses (for example; biostatistics, immunology, pharmacology) and significant research as a principal investigator provide insights and understanding that are rarely achieved in clinical residency programs.
The objectives of the program are for the resident to:
Each of the dermatology faculty members will serve in an equal capacity as clinical advisors. Residents will take advice and input form the duty dermatologist and follow-up advice on cases will typically also be with the dermatologist on duty at the time the case was seen. General group discussion of cases also occurs during the regular dermatology service meeting on Tuesdays at noon or informally as the need arises.
The principal academic advisor is decided once the area of research is decided. Until that time, both dermatologists are involved in initial discussions and planning of the direction of the resident's research. The dermatologist who is not the academic advisor to the resident will always serve on the advisory and examination committees for the MS degree.
Once the specific area of research is selected, an Advisory committee will be formed that will consist of the academic advisor, the dermatology faculty and any other faculty members who may be able to provide advice in the development of a specific research project, during the project and to completion of the study. Typically, the Advisory committee serves as the Examination committee for the thesis defense. These committees must consist of at least 3 graduate faculty members.
The dermatology faculty members serve as mentors throughout the course of the residency, graduate course program and research project. We regard mentoring of our residents as one of our most important, and most enjoyable, duties. We are committed to providing support, guidance and help in all aspects of their professional lives during the course of the residency. We care about our resident's professional and personal development and aim to assist our residents in being the best that they can possibly be and to prepare them for successful careers in dermatology.
When the resident is on clinical duty, we have a full program of activities such as receiving patients, performing procedures, and rounds that takes up the full day. Please see Appendix for a typical weekly schedule that indicates the time of each activity.
The residents see patients with the duty faculty clinician – the cases are shared between the two residents with oversight from the faculty clinician. If one of the residents is off clinics, then the duty faculty clinician and the other resident will share case responsibility. Initially, residents will discuss the full details of each case with the faculty clinician prior to meeting with the pet owner. As their experience and competence level grows, residents are only required to provide the faculty clinician with an overview of the case. Owner requests for a specific clinician (at recheck visits) are usually honored. The faculty clinician may request that a resident take primary case responsibility for a specific case if it is a good learning case, provides unique opportunities etc. The residents share primary case responsibility for all in-house consults requested from other specialty services – initially these will be reviewed by the faculty clinician similar to our own patients. When residents are on clinical service, they will also share and be responsible for all telephone consultations from our referral DVMs.
One of the main initial goals is for the resident to develop adequate clinical skills and knowledge to be able to take responsibility for the average patient that is referred to the VMC. The time this takes depends on the level of experience and the progression of the resident, but this point should be reached by the end of the 1st year of the residency. During the 2nd year, we expect the resident to develop insights and understanding that will allow them to approach more complex cases with logic and understanding, and by the 3rd year, we expect the resident to be able to be in control of almost any patient that they see, regardless of the complexity or uniqueness of the case.
As mentioned previously, the dermatology faculty regards resident training and mentoring as one of their most important tasks. We are always available for discussion and advice on clinical, research and graduate program concerns. We aim to provide a structured program that ensures the development and growth of the resident, while at the same time retaining flexibility to accommodate each resident individually, such that at the completion of the program we are certain that our residents will be skilled, knowledgeable and able to pursue with confidence any career and opportunity in veterinary dermatology that they would like.
The dermatology resident is expected to be available for any dermatology emergency seen at the VMC. As such, a dermatology resident is always "on call" for these emergencies, although they are few and far between. Emergency duty for dermatology emergencies is shared equally by the dermatology residents. Dermatology residents do not participate in any "regular" emergency duty for the VMC.
Time off clinics: Policies for time off clinics are standard for all residents and can be reviewed in the Residency Handbook. In brief, each resident is allocated 24 weeks off clinics over the course of 3 years. The 24 weeks includes personal leave time (2 weeks/year) and professional leave (3 weeks over the entire 3 years), with a balance of 15 weeks for scholarly activities. A special request can be made for up to 6 additional weeks off clinics – this must be justified for completion of resident research studies or other acceptable activities. It should be noted that residents will not be allowed to accrue this “off clinic” time such that is taken all at once in the 3rd year for boards preparation or the like.
Residents will be expected to participate fully in the teaching of senior veterinary students rotating through the dermatology service which includes discussion of cases and performing diagnostic procedures
Residents will be expected to be in rounds on all occasions when on clinical service unless they are attending a graduate class. Within the first 3 to 6 months of the residency, residents will be expected to contribute to rounds by leading discussion of their cases, answering student questions, stimulating students to develop core dermatologic knowledge and leading discussion on specific topics.
Please see the appendix for the weekly schedule. The dermatology group meets on Thursday mornings for Journal Club (except the 2nd week of the month when we meet on a Tuesday morning with local area dermatologists for Journal Club), and on Friday mornings of dermatohistopathology. Book review occurs on Monday mornings except the first Monday of the month when all residents and faculty attend the departmental Research Seminar
Journal club typically includes discussion and critique of 3 recent journal articles selected and led by either one of the residents or our visiting dermatologists (if they are attending) on an equal rotational roster. Reviewed journals include all of those recommended by the ACVD, plus others containing articles recommended for resident review. Three articles are reviewed at each journal club. The Ohio State University has on-line access to all currently available digital format journals, as well as most print journals. For non-digital back issues that are not maintained in the University's subscription database, inter-library loan assures access within 3 business days.
Over the course of the 3-year program, book review sessions of selected textbooks that may include (amongst others) Muller + Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology, Scott’s Equine Dermatology and relevant chapters from Scott's Large Animal Dermatology, Medleau + Hnilica’s Small Animal Dermatology, Greene’s Infectious Diseases, Feldman and Nelson’s Endocrinology, Gross et al’s Dermatopathology, all volumes of Advances in Veterinary Dermatology as well as relevant issues of Vet Clinics of North America. Review sessions of text books (in conjunction with formal Integumentary didactic courses – see below) are designed to help the resident develop study notes in preparation for the ACVD board certifying examinations.
Residents attend dermatopathology rounds with the preceptors, at least two ACVP pathologists, and residents in pathology for 1 hour every month (see chart) – 1st Friday of the month. This hour is dedicated to the review of the case material provided by the dermatology residents, preceptors and the pathology service. On the weeks where the resident and preceptors do not meet with the pathology service (i.e. 3-4 x monthly), the resident and preceptors review their own case material as well as sections from our bank of histopathology slides. Initially, the preceptors provided hands on guidance, followed later by giving the resident slides to review prior to the session and then presenting these slides to the preceptors, and finally, unknowns are given to the residents for their description/ diagnosis at the time of the session.
Dermatology residents are asked to provide a "National boards dermatology review" to the senior veterinary students annually. In addition, there is the opportunity for residents in their 2nd or 3rd year to contribute 1 or 2 hours of lectures in the didactic Integumentary course taught to the sophomore class each spring quarter – this is an option and not a requirement.
Some small animal interns elect to rotate through dermatology for 1 week. The interns participate in rounds and Thursday morning seminars and the resident is expected to provide clinical guidance to the interns as they observe receiving.
As required by the ACVD, a research project will be planned and executed by the resident during the 3-year training period. Guidance is provided in preparing a grant proposal to seek intra- and extramural funding. All of our residents have to complete a significant piece of original research that forms the basis of their thesis to meet requirements for obtaining their MS degree. The research is typically hypothesis-driven and may be clinical or laboratory-based depending on the selected area of study. In the past, our residents research has often been in collaboration with other scientists within our department, in other departments at the CVM, in other colleges at OSU or researchers outside of OSU. The research thesis has to be completed and defended prior to completion of the 3-year training program, and granting of a residency certificate is dependent on successful completion of the MS degree.
The resident must present the results of their research project during the annual meeting of the ACVD (North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum) during the third year of their residency. A poster abstract and presentation of the residents research is also made at the CVM Research Day in April each year. Finally, the Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences also requires each resident to present their research during a research seminar to the faculty in their senior year.
The resident must publish the findings of their research in at least 1 manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal. This is a requirement of the ACVD Credentials committee and for completion of the MS degree. In the past, our residents have published 2 or 3 manuscripts emanating from their MS research project in highly regarded journals such as the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Journal of Veterinary Research and Veterinary Dermatology. These published articles are included in the MS thesis.
Formal Resident Performance Evaluations are completed by December 1st and June 1st each year. Details of the nature and structure of these evaluations can be found in the Residency Handbook.
The ACVD requires that residents are evaluated by their mentors after 4.5 and 12 months of their programs and annually thereafter.